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Antonio Calderara, Figura al Sole (Figure in the Sun), 1949, oil on wood panel, 6 1/4 x 5 1/8".

Antonio Calderara

Annemarie Verna Galerie

Antonio Calderara, Figura al Sole (Figure in the Sun), 1949, oil on wood panel, 6 1/4 x 5 1/8".

The first work one saw after entering this show was a well-considered introduction to the art of Antonio Calderara (1903–1978): a small, slightly vertical composition of rectangles reminiscent of the terrain around Lake Orta in the far north of Italy, where the artist led his reclusive life. The surface of this painting, Studio, 1959, is sharply divided into a pattern of right angles using delicate shades of gray, blue, white, and pink, which can be viewed either as an almost monochromatic abstraction or as a kind of landscape with a house in the foreground, a lake in the middle, and a house on the far shore. The radical spirit in which Calderara drove his pictures to the very edge of visibility by oscillating between figuration and pure sign or form reveals his cognizance of a wide historical horizon—his thinking cannot be reduced to an exclusive commitment to either modernism

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